Welcome to the weekly SuperBro Comic Corner. Every week, a few of our avid comic readers will be reviewing, analyzing, and recommending which comic books we feel you, our readers, should check out. Could be old, could be new. Comics are the source material for our most beloved films and TV shows, so let’s take a look at what our staff read this week, who knows? Some of them may or may not be made into a movie one day (if they haven’t already).
This week, Jordan Humphrey reviews the classic tale The Death of Superman in full, Michael Marinelli analyzes Cyborg: Rebirth #1, Ernesto Valenzuela recaps All-Star Batman #8, Christian Hubbard takes on Infinity Gauntlet #1, Marcos Melendez recommends Batman # 19, Demi Mertakas covers The Wild Storm #2, and Johnathan Brin gives his opinion on Green Arrow #19.
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.
The Wild Storm #2 (2017)
Review by: Demi Mertakas (@DemiMertakas)
The Wild Storm, is DC Rebirth’s recent reboot of the WildStorm universe, with writer Warren Ellis creating new iterations of characters like Angela Spica (aka The Engineer), Cole Cash (Grifter), Priscilla Kitaen (Voodoo) and Jenny Sparks. But don’t worry; If you’re not familiar with any of these characters, this series is a reboot and a new introduction to this new WildStorm universe, which helps the reader get to know these characters, whether they are familiar with them or not. The series may be a part of DC’s Rebirth, but it takes place in its own separate universe; in a more realistic world. This world includes themes like conspiracy theories, black-ops, advanced technology, etc.
The last issue ended with some questions, especially after Angela Spica’s character revealed something which got her a lot of attention from tech-companies like Skywatch and IO (which are corporate enemies). This issue may not have answered a lot of those questions, but it was a good build-up episode, introducing new key characters, new character motivations and it showed where these storylines will be going in the near future.
The interesting thing about these first two issues is that they haven’t introduced any costumed superheroes – as far as we know – but they have introduced this series’ own sci-fi approach to a comic book universe and its characters with the use of advanced technology and a few more interesting twists. Overall, the series is off to a great start with these first two issues, interesting concepts, characters and plot lines are expanded on nicely in this second edition.
Infinity Gauntlet #1 (2015)
Review By: Christian Hubbard (@KyloCool630)
While scrolling through my favorite app, Marvel Unlimited, something caught my eye. I was intrigued by the idea of a modernized tale about Thanos and his notorious gauntlet. It was very exciting to see, especially with all the news and castings (HYPE) coming out of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War year-long film production. When I got to through the first few pages of the story, I was extremely thrown off and, to be honest, blown away by the story being told in “Infinity Gauntlet #1.”
The story takes place in Battleworld, the setting for a bevy of Marvel stories set within the “Secret Wars” saga that lead to the ALL NEW, ALL DIFFERENT MARVEL in the fall of 2016. The Multiverse was destroyed and the major players from both Earth-616 (Marvel Comics’ original canon) and Earth-1610 (better known as “The Ultimates” universe) and left the world in shambles in which dangerous and ruinous domains remain, with threats of all kinds looming around every corner.
Written and drawn by Gerry Duggan and Dustin Weaver, the story follows the Bakian clan. A family who has survived the savage events that took place previously and are just trying to survive within their new setting. Anwen is a teenager who has a knack for drawing and is quickly established as the heart and soul of this family, especially when she brings up the death of her mother, which begins a verbal sparring match between her and her younger sister Fayne.
This argument escalates and soon they are all attacked by GIANT SPIDERS?
Anwen shows some incredible athleticism while trying to escape and finds her way to a huge spiderweb where we see a Nova helmet on the head of a corpse. It is at this time where it is revealed that her mother is not dead but instead a soldier fighting as a member of the intergalactic police force the Nova Corps through Anwens’s inner dialogue.
Conveniently, after she discovers what *appears* to be an Infinity Stone, her mother returns in her full Nova outfit ensuring her daughter that everything is going to be okay and all is right.. until the very next panel reveals Thanos holding a similar looking Infinity Stone-esque object and states “That is decidedly untrue.”
All was not right.
This story is the first of a several issue arc and is one hell of a thrill-ride thus far. The family themes stemming from the single-father doing whatever it takes to protect his family to the grandfather attempting to sacrifice himself in a fearless act of defiance to save his granddaughter to the sister/sister bickering. The Bikian clan is a group of relatable characters with an interesting story that should be fleshed out over time.
The looming threat of a wounded Thanos on the hunt to recover his beloved stones from which he has been separated is an intriguing and truly terrifying arc, especially when the heroes of this story are a broken family filled with broken individuals all suffering some form of post-traumatic stress following the destruction of everything they hold near and dear.
I love when Marvel take familiar elements from its past and seamlessly weaves them into current stories that allow for more inclusion, diversity, and representation for its faithful readers. This was a fun one and I genuinely can’t wait to dive into the rest of the issues available on Marvel Unlimited.
Rating: 9/10 with most of the points going towards the levels of excitement being felt about the future of the story.
All-Star Batman #8
Review By Ernesto Valenzuela (@ThisIs_Ernesto)
DC Rebirth continues to prove itself to be a mostly successful venture for DC in the comics industry, with multiple hit titles breaking sales records and receiving critical acclaim for many of it’s titles. One such title that continues to get praise (and deservedly so) is ‘All-Star Batman’, a new Batman title written by Scott Snyder, who is famously known for writing the main Batman title during the New 52. This run is different, however, because of it’s choice in focusing on different villains each issue and exchanging artists whenever a new villain is put on the spotlight, with only the best of the best lending their talents to bring Snyder’s vision to life (Hence the All-Star).
The villain in focus of this latest issue of All-Star Batman is The Mad Hatter, portrayed, in my opinion, a bold and interesting way, providing new depths and making a villain I once considered silly to be dark and disturbing, showing the true capabilities of his intellect, pushing Batman to his psychological limits. This is the definitive story for the Mad Hatter, in my opinion. This issue is exactly like the character of the Hatter: absolutely insane. Batman beats up Nightwing with a flamingo, for example.
If you want the backstory on that, read the issue. Seriously. It’s an amazing read. Although it lacks a bit in terms of the overall arc of the story (which started in Issue 6) All-Star Batman #8 manages to make a good psychological trip through the minds of Batman and the Mad Hatter. Camuncoli’s art truly shines through this issue, as I feel any other artist would have more than likely made the crazy and outlandish story confusing through the panels.
Overall, All-Star Batman #8 is another fantastic issue in the series, proving Snyder hasn’t lost his touch with writing Batman, OR his villains, providing a compelling story with The Mad Hatter. Pair that with compelling and beautifully done art that portrays Batman’s psyche in a very creative way, you have got one of the best comic books out this week.
Cyborg: Rebirth #1 (2016)
I’ve been way behind on my pull list recently; having just read DC Comics’ Cyborg: Rebirth from September 2016 and, sadly, the issue was nothing special. DC Rebirth has been killing it in every title and this is something that may not fit that mold as well as other titles. The book doesn’t seem to know what direction it’s headed in so it goes in all directions at once. It shows promise for the future but its present is nothing to be desired.
The art is decent, penciled by Paul Pelletier, but feels quiet. For example, there’s a splash page that just doesn’t feel special as it leaves the reader almost thinking “So what?” Pelletier’s art makes it easy to understand what’s going on but at times, but he doesn’t seem to have a “Wow!” factor. The art isn’t anything that’ll keep you hooked, sadly. It doesn’t turn one off but can fail to hold one’s attention.
The use of the comic book as a medium is great, however. John Semper, Jr, the writer, uses page turning and panels to effectively tell the story. Whether it be a sentence broken up by two panels or narration in text boxes, the way the story is told is admirable.
The Rebirth one-shots set up the future of the series while some providing backstory. Cyborg: Rebirth #1 does its job but can leave the reader wondering what’s special about this series as we see two villains who don’t feel all that threatening. It sets up the future stories well, serving as a prelude, but the villains feel lacking. Even they don’t seem to know why they’re there and aren’t giving the time they deserve. They could be great, they just need room to grow.
Cyborg: Rebirth #1 tries to do too much in too little time. Every aspect is headed in a great direction but there are just too many aspects and too many directions at once in one issue. I understand the need to prologue everything in the one-shot but the final product wasn’t great. I’m willing to continue reading the series because the ideas Semper, Jr. has are great, but just weren’t all executed well. The art reflects the story in this issue: understandable but not attention-grabbing. The graphic storytelling, however, shows promise and I believe the story could turn out great over the course of at least a dozen issues.
Batman #19 (2017)
Review By:Marcos Melendez (@bizgamer9)
Tom King’s Batman run has been interesting to say the least, with “I am Gotham” being well received, and “I am Suicide” being pretty well received for the most part from fans and critics alike, but it is known to have some problematic issues. However, that hasn’t stopped Tom King from improving, and if “I am Bane” is a sign of things to come for the rest of the series, then we are in for one hell of a ride. This issue focuses primarily on Bane and his mission on getting Psycho-Pirate back from Batman. There isn’t a lot of story development here but the way that the tension is built is astounding and really deserves praise.
The whole issue pretty much consists of action sequences featuring Bane and Batman’s best villains, and some moments of talking. Although it may seem simple on the surface, there is a level of intensity Tom King brings to Bane that I haven’t seen before. King was able to me make believe that every step that Bane took had purpose and there was a lot of motivation behind everything he has done so far. Previous issues shed light on his backstory and how it sort of mirrors Bruce’s but in a much darker way. Bane is in Arkham Asylum and he has to make his way through of all of the inmates in order to get to Batman. He explains to the inmates, as he is beating them to a pulp, how Batman forced him to leave his home and use Venom again when he really didn’t want to.
Although his focus is on Batman, we know that’s not all he wants. His mission is to get Psycho-Pirate back and King perfectly melds these two motivations together. Also, the villains in the Asylum are well written by King and they all of their signature personalities. Bane defeats each villain with ease, including Mr. Freeze even though he froze Bane completely.
I can not talk about the things I liked about this issue without talking about the art. The art is fantastic and very consistent in quality throughout the pages. I thought that the art was gonna be a bit iffy since there were quite a few people doing it but I was proven wrong for sure. The pages look more and more brutal with every punch Bane throws.
My only complaint about this issue is with the fact that I have some uncertainty about whether or not Batman’s plan will live up to the tension that has been building. I’m uncertain about this because I did not like how I am Suicide turned out in some parts, mainly with the twist and turns. I really hope that everything will pay off at the end and we end up getting one of (if not) THE best Bane/Batman story yet. This will certainly be true if the rest of the issues are of the same quality.
Green Arrow # 19 (2017)
Review By: Johnathan Brin (@BlackHispanic_)
As always Green Arrow is one of DC’s “Rebirth” best and still continues to prove it. Issue 19 picks back up were 18 left off. You get to see that Arsenal is still mad at Green Arrow for the past and that he doesn’t even like being called Speedy anymore wanting to leave that behind. Roy also has a Oliver from the show moment where he doesn’t want Oliver’s help against the Wild Dog Gang since it’s his home. Oliver being himself refuses to leave and chooses to help Roy with Black Canary showing up to also help.
We then get a look at the past showing a younger Green Arrow and Speedy fighting Count Vertigo, whose design looks great, showing how their dynamic back then. We also get to see a young Roy starting to see that sometimes Oliver is a hypocrite while still showing he is the one that created Oliver’s trick arrows. We then get a nice moment between Arsenal and Black Canary which fans have wanted for a while. While Roy is trying to show he doesn’t want to reconnect with Oliver, Dinah tells him how Oliver has lost everything and is just trying to hold on and fix anything that was important to him.
We then see how Oliver and Roy got into a fight when he had a party while Oliver was gone and Oliver flipping out. We then get to see Oliver kicking him out and Roy calling him out and leaving and also showing that like in the pre-New 52 he did have a drug addiction which was a big part of his story back then. We the end the comic with a beautiful shot of Black Canary, Green Arrow and Arsenal teaming up with Arsenal going to lead the mission.
Benjamin Percy knocks it out of the park. One thing I love about his series that even though its a Green Arrow series you could also see other characters shine like it’s their series. Seeing Green Arrow, Black canary and Arsenal teaming up was amazing and still hopefully we get the entire Arrow Family in his series in the future. All we would need is Emiko, Mia and Connor to also appear.
Seeing Ben also still acknowledges what came before while writing new stories with these beloved characters. If you haven’t already, pick up Green Arrow today and read it you will love it. The only thing I wish for this story is that Emiko could have tagged along to see Roy’s reaction to her as Red Arrow as this is the Roy with his memories back thanks to Wally. Just imagine see him getting mad that she is going by Red Arrow which in the past was his old name. Maybe one day we will get it in the future.
The Death of Superman (1992)
Review By: Jordan Humphrey (@airjordo398)
“The Death of Superman” was an incredibly well written ark in when Superman and Doomsday fight and ends in the demise of both characters.
This book(or graphic novel) featured one of the coolest stories written by DC in my opinion. The art featured in this story was incredibly well done and I loved seeing the art as a total in this story. The basis of the story is that Doomsday makes it out and starts destroying the surrounding area eventually leading him to Metropolis where Superman stands in his way ready to battle his adversary.
Superman vastly underestimates his opponent and realizes his foe has strength equal to his own. It was interesting seeing Superman struggle with a foe but also see the motivation he has to stop Doomsday.
Eventually with both warriors beaten and bruised one final risky maneuver from Superman leaves both warriors dead in the middle of Metropolis.
After their death it shows many shocked faces around the scene and a really heartbreaking panel featuring Louis Lane (as featured above). The story as a whole was entirely well done and had many twists and turns, seeing one of my all time favorite heroes die by the hands of one of his all powerful villains. Doomsday was the perfect villain for this story as he is equally matched to Superman in all aspects and this story would not have been near perfect if the villain had used technology or intelligence to battle Superman. Seeing Superman struggle with the thought of having an opponent equally matched was interesting to see as well as it showed a unique reaction when the fight gradually got longer and both opponents started to tire out.
This story definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and I have yet to find a DC story as great as Death of Superman. If you are looking for a great story featuring the Man of Steel and do not mind a little tear-jerker then go find Death of Superman and give it a read.
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